WordCamp Singapore 2016

Last month I visited Singapore with Rahul to attend the WordCamp Singapore and meet few of our clients there.

We had to take a flight from Mumbai at 1: 15 AM Saturday, so we started early on Friday evening from Pune. Traveling to Mumbai by road is always exciting as we get to eat vada-pav (Indian Burger) at a foot joint on the highway. Joel also accompanied us till Mumbai as he had a flight to catch on Saturday evening.

Day 1

We reached Singapore on Saturday morning. First thing Rahul suggested was to get SIM cards. We also bought the NETS card that we used in to use local transport.

We took a Uber to the hotel, freshened up and headed straight to Little India to have lunch and meet some friends. Being a vegetarian, I had to settle down for whatever options I had. Rahul did a quick search and suggested Murugan Idli  for trying South Indian food.  Excellent it was! Though I had to spend SG$ 11 for a dosa and a pair of Idlis, it was worth every penny. ?

In the evening we went to Marina Bay to see the Laser show and explore the areas around it.


Day 2 – Free Day

I and Rahul went to Maxwell food centre. Rahul had this delicious chicken dish and I had a fruit platter.

Rahul's and my lunch
Rahul’s and my lunch

We then went to Sentosa Island as our Hotel receptionist told that it was a good place to explore.  A local lady was kind enough to suggest us to take the bus to Sentosa instead of the monorail. It saved us 4 SG$. This left a great impression of the local people in Singapore. I found them very warm and helping.

At Sentosa, we settled down at a restaurant right at the beach. While returning we went to a Casino. I earned SG$ 16 on a bet of SG$ 2 card game. I cashed out right after, hence proving house doesn’t win always ?



We went to meet a client in the morning. After the meeting, we went to a temple nearby and then went to Orchard street for some shopping.

By evening we headed for Azucar bar for the Speaker dinner. It was a great feeling to finally meet people from the community.

Day 4 – WordCamp Singapore day

Excellent venue with superb connectivity. The Microsoft facility was great and I was really impressed with the WordCamp organisers to put up such a great venue.

WordCamp was a two-track event. I was able to attend a couple of sessions only as I spent time talking to other WordCampers there.

After the WordCamp, we all had to meet at Azucar for the Afterparty. Rahul headed to meet Mahaghu at Maxwell Food Center. I went for a stroll towards the Merlion Park. I spent almost an hour there. Since the afterparty venue was only a mile away so I decided to take a walk till there. The route was same where the F1 race was scheduled the very next week, so took the chance to see the track.

Day 5 – Client Visit & Shopping

We went to meet one of the oldest clients of rtCamp – Rotimatic. I finally got a chance to see the machine in action. They were gracious and made some great dishes out of the Rotis. ?

After the meeting, Rahul headed for the Airport for his further travel to attend a meetup in Bangkok. I had a half-day to myself that I decided to use to explore the local market. I inquired with the receptionist and some local people.

After some hard work, I found Bugis street. I shopped clothes and accessories for my wife and other family members. In the evening I met few friends that I made at the WordCamp.

Day 6 – Back Home

After a great breakfast at the Hotel, I headed for the airport. I reached very early so explored the Singapore airport and bought a bottle of wine. I spent almost 30 minutes at the auto foot massager.

The airport authority kept my perfume bottle as its quantity was more that 100 ml. A really bad feeling to lose your stuff like that.

I reached India and this signboard at the custom liquor shop cheered me up. It is from a famous Bollywood song that celebrates drinking. It reads “I have not committed a theft by drinking a little”. ?

We are now planning our trip for WordCamp USA. Looking forward to meeting many new people there.

Istanbul, Again

Liverpool FC – Knocking out the favorites, since 2005.


There is an element of craziness involved if you are a Liverpool FC fan. You should always be prepared to get your mind go on a joy ride if it’s an European night at Anfield.

2-0 down, 3-1 down, but never down and out. LFC scored three unanswered goals within 30 minutes, and against a team that has best counter-attack in the world.

And this is what a good leadership can do.


WordCamp Mumbai 2016

As usual WordCamp Mumbai was yet again a great experience. Though I was able to attend it only for a day but it still gave me enough time to interact with new people.

I was manning rtCamp’s sponsor desk and that automatically means talking to lots of people.

Some pictures from the camp –


Don’t Hire for Skills..

You read it right, don’t hire for skills. But hire for attitude, attitude to succeed. People with achiever attitude will find their own way.

The excerpt below is my go-to mantra while hiring new members to my team:

Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left.

So Long BR

The goodbye was imminent and it was just a matter of when. Sensing the opportunity to get back into top4 with a new manager, FSG pulled the plug. They are right somehow as without results, management can’t back decisions for long.
BR gave his best shot but unfortunately was not enough.

But will BR be remembered? Yes, because I know he did something extraordinary.

When fans with a great optimism line up to welcome their team like this , you know the team’s efforts have resonated with hopes of the fans.

To be or Not to Be?

A very important question that every company should ask itself before delving into something.

How do you answer ‘Should We Do This’?

Create a 8 slides presentation in 45 minutes about this new venture. Assume that this presentation will be for a potential investor. I am very sure that by the time you will reach slide #4, you will get to know your answer.

Why 45 minutes? Because if you can’t gather your thoughts in 45 minutes, you will not be able to do it even in 45 hours.

When Is the right time to release your product?


The biggest question I faced while working with a product I am leading. There was always a doubt, whether customers will like this product or not? Should I get more testing done? Should I revisit any business logics? When should I target to release? The answer I finally got was very simple – Right Now.

I recall lines from this article by Matt

 if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.

Just ship your product and let customer give you feedbacks. I am getting some amazing feedbacks from the product I released a week ago. Some of the feedbacks are shaping up the product in amazing ways, plus the great inputs that are helping my team to update the documentations and manuals.

If your product is one of a kind and you think its unique, just roll out the 1.0 at the soonest and get your Being First advantage.

Image Credits: http://www.marcpina.com/

Management Lessons learned from Liverpool’s Performance

Season 2014-15 started with a mixed bag of expectations for Brendan Rodgers’ men. Some were hopeful to see more of the style of play that took Liverpool close to BPL silverware last season. But many didn’t count them in for new season’s title challenge as BR’s ‘Death by Football’ style was expected to take a hit after Luis Suarez left to join the Catalans.

First three games of the season started with some promise but cracks started to appear after Tottenham away win. Daniel Sturridge got a knock in this match and that made him available for next few months.  This meant Reds lost both the strikers, who collectively scored around half of the 101 goals last season.

The low

After seeing the low of loosing 3-1 to Crystal Palace by throwing away one goal lead, LFC has come a long way. The signings are gelling well, clean sheets are getting frequent and the ‘marquee signing ‘ Balotelli is showing his commitment to Anfield.


As I see, the first half of the season presented some very important managerial lessons, particularly for senior management while working with second line of command.

1. Do not build team around a star

Instead build a team of performers with high predictability.

LFC’s last season was all about Suarez. His commitment and skills single-handedly tore down the opponents. BR gauged this before the season started and switched to 4-4-2 diamond formation, which suited Suarez’ playing style. Rest of the squad was trained to get maximum out of the diamond. This strategy gave BR great results, but as I thought, only till Suarez stayed.

Life after Suarez is classic example of the downside of building team around a star. None of the formations; 4-4-2 diamond,4-4-3 , 4-3-2-1; gave any results as team lacked the deft finish touches of the genius.

As an entrepreneur, if you have a business plan built around a star developer/analyst/designer than you should have a backup who can fill-in those shoes when needed.

2. Take chances

Seeing an exit from Champion’s league without registering a single win, fans wanted the obvious from the club owners FSG – sack Brendan Rodgers. But FSG chose to stick with Brendan keeping faith in his abilities. The trade paid off and LFC are now the only team that remains unbeaten in 2015.

3. Let managers PICK their teams and strategies

FSG gave BR a free hand to choose new players. Most of the those signings didn’t go well with the Football pundits. Seven months gone and what we see now  is a team that is working as a unit, giving outstanding results. You know that when the genius Jose Mourinho admits that Chelsea had a tough game in his post match interviews.

4. Choose managers who take accountability

Through out the rough patch, BR looked like a person who took responsibility of the bad results. These are the types of people who takes that extra mile to get good results from their teams. They never pass the buck.

5. Choose Motivators

Choose people who can motivate their teams even when things doesn’t goes fine. Even an highly skilled army can loose a battle if their commander lacks motivational skills.

BR did criticize his player when they didn’t perform well but he stood for them, even after loosing. After every loss, I saw a manager who was more determined to get things right and make his squad work harder in trainings.

Just like LFC, your teams might not be performing as expected but the only way to change that around is to take steps to change that around. Identify the people who can do that for you.

Image Credits: This is Anfield

Hello world! Finally!!

“Better late than never”.

After procrastinating it since long, I finally started with my personal blog today. Whats so special about today? Nothing much,  just got some motivation from this article by Chris Lema.


There are four major reasons because of which I feel the urge to write:

  1. To share the things I have learned during the first 6 years of my professional life @ rtCamp and the things I will learn.  Most of these are experiences that somehow have become great lessons.
  2. To share my opinions, candidly, about the happenings around the world. Indian political system and polity always fascinates me.  I look forward to write about it.
  3. To write my take on playing formations, tactics, transfers in the European football leagues. These leagues interests me most and I spend good amount of my Sundays’ time on them.  I am a big fan of Liverpool FC  and my posts will cover them often.
  4. To share notes about the food that excites my taste buds :). I am a foodie and  love to explore places that serve great food.

I already feel great after writing just a few paragraphs above and it seems I might be doing this often. 🙂